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NFL notebook: Freeman to start at QB for Vikings this week

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 7:36 p.m.

Your turn, Josh Freeman.

Freeman was named the latest starting quarterback for the scuffling Vikings on Wednesday. Freeman's second week with the team will culminate Monday night with him leading the offense against the New York Giants.

Freeman will be the third starter in the last four games for the Vikings (1-4) and the 11th since Daunte Culpepper's season-ending knee injury in 2005. Freeman was cut by Tampa Bay on Oct. 3 and signed by Minnesota to a one-year contract five days later.

“The underlying questions I've been getting from a lot of people: ‘Do I have a chip on my shoulder?' I'm sure I do,” Freeman said. “But I think it's more deeply rooted than just the past six months, 12 months.”

Pats place LB Mayo on IR

New England linebacker Jerod Mayo will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.

The two-time Pro Bowl player was hurt in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 30-27 win over the Saints.

Bills QB Manuel out 4-6 more weeks

Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is expected to miss another four to six weeks now that he's begun rehabbing his sprained right knee.

Coach Doug Marrone was able to provide a more definitive timetable on Manuel's recovery after consulting with team doctors. Manuel began working out on his own Tuesday for the first time since being hurt in a loss to Cleveland on Oct. 3.

Manuel has an opportunity to return before the Bills have their bye week Nov. 24.

Thad Lewis, who was promoted off the practice squad last week, is set to make his second consecutive start Sunday, when Buffalo (2-4) plays at Miami (3-2). Lewis practiced fully on Wednesday after hurting his right foot in a 27-24 overtime loss to Cincinnati last weekend.

Giants ink RB Hillis

The Giants signed veteran running back Peyton Hillis.

Hillis, who fills a void in the backfield, is a six-year veteran with a 1,000-yard season on his resume. He has played for Denver, Cleveland and Kansas City, and has 2,470 yards and 21 touchdowns for his career.

He is the only Brown to rush for 1,000 yards, catch 50 passes and score 10 touchdowns in a season.

“I'm coming in with an open heart and open mind,” Hillis said, “and I'm looking to do whatever the coaching staff needs me to do to help this team win.”

Bucs' Nicks has surgery on infected foot

Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks underwent surgery on the left foot after a recurrence of a MRSA infection.

It is unknown when Nicks might be able to return to the field. Nicks missed the first two games of the season before returning to play in the next two games.

AP misses practice

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did not practice. He was excused to tend to personal matters related to the death of his 2-year-old son but will return to the team facility in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Former WR Fryar charged

Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Irving Fryar was indicted on charges of conspiracy in theft for a mortgage fraud scam, the New Jersey state's Attorney General office announced.

According to prosecutors, Fryer, 51, and his mother, Allene McGhee, attempted to steal nearly $700,000 by applying for five home equity loans on her house during a five-day period in 2009.

Around the league

The NFL fined Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh $31,500 for a hit on Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, and Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall $10,500 for a uniform violation after wearing green shoes to support Mental Awareness Week during last Thursday night's game against the Giants. … Houston starting strong safety Danieal Manning will miss the rest of the season because of a right knee injury. ... The Cowboys released defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, saying he failed a physical after spending the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list.

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